Last year I joined an art appreciation group. Affiliated with Tate St Ives, they have set up several groups in cornwall which run like book clubs, but instead of books, we discuss art. Last year we were approached Anna, exhibition organiser at the Castle and asked if we could curate our own exhibition.
As it turned out one of our group, Chris knew of a Schools Art Collection that had recently been given to the Royal Cornwall Museum by Cornwall Council.
Over 100 artworks from sculpture by Barbara Hepworth to drawings and paintings from many of the St Ives School are held with them and we wanted to get them out of the cupboard.
It’s been an incredible amount of work but the exhibition was up for five weeks and was incredibly successful with lots of visitors and great reviews. For my part, I was treasurer but also helped to get the blog up and running after giving a crash course to a few people and also helped with the running of it.
Some of the work was by artists that are no longer here such as Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton and Borlase Smart, but there were a few contemporary works by Naomi Frears and Andy Hughes.
Children from Kilkhampton Primary School discussing
Louise McClary painting with childrens work alongside
Andy Hughe’s artwork was a photograph which had been worked over when he was the first artist in residence at the Tate St Ives.It became one of the focal points of the exhibition with a question label, asking the public for their interpretations. I was familiar with him but it wasn’t until I saw a copy of the book Dominant wave that I was hooked.
Dominant Wave Theory Book
Beach rubbish and collecting it is a passion. What with the “It’s not Rubbish Art Show” and #2minutebeachclean and Widemouth Task Force and now bottle top strings with Rame Peninsular it is quite a focus of daily life. I ordered a second hand copy of the book and the images are outstanding, but when I read the foreword and essay I realised there was much more to it and I could see it as an art form.
Andy Hughes sees the objects in their pure form and links it to the light of St Ives and the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth. They are beautiful pictures in their own right, but as he says it’s a double edge sword and for the viewer a constant struggle between appreciation of the art form and the monstrosity that afflicts our modern life with the huge amounts of plastics that end up in the sea and washed up on our shores.
This book was published in 2006 and has excellent images I haven’t shared them as not sure of copyright issues) Andy has done some amazing expeditions and work since with lots of groups highlighting the plastics in the sea with a new book due out this year called ‘Gyre’. For more information see his excellent website. Andy Hughes
This is just a small part of the exhibition experience and I learnt a lot about many of the artists and their work, but this connection and further investigation of Andy Hughes will influence what I do next and the possibilities for new projects.
If anyone is interested to read it, the blog for the Your Art exhibition is at www.budelookgroup.wordpress.com